A Golden Glow, Eating Mostly Raw and Loads to Read & Watch.

Untitled 2Last night Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry hosted the fabulous Carla Golden from Carla Golden Wellness.  What a large turnout! For a while, we were standing room only!…..then we got more chairs.  I learned that the ship does not run as smoothly without the wonderful Cheryl.  I was so busy helping to get things set up that I did not take a single picture of the food—which as usual, was plentiful.  Something else that was quite evident, is that there is a lot of knowledge contained within our gatherings. One person may ask a question, but many will typically have an informed answer/opinion. If you are looking for a community of people with an interest in healthy meat-free eating, then Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry is the group to hang out with. So, on to Carla Golden. She really cast a lovely Golden glow over the crowd. Carla is a wife, mother, blogger, life coach, massage therapist and so much more. She spoke to the gathering tonight about Eating Smartly on a Vegan Diet. Like most of us, her road to health and healing has been paved with potholes and missteps, but she has found her way. Reading her story you understand, that if she can find health and wholeness with all that she’s been through, anyone can. Read about her “Not-So-Sexy Road to Wellness” here.  During her talk, Carla mentioned three books that changed her relationship with food.

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Many people are familiar with writer Michael Pollan. His book best selling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a compelling look at our food system.  You will not look at corn, soy, processed food, agriculture or factory farms the same after reading this book. There is also a young readers version of this book which you can read about here.  He is also an articulate and engaging speaker. The video below is from a 2008 presentation at UC Davis on The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

WorldPeaceDiet1

The World Peace Diet was previously an Amazon #1 bestseller. It is written by an former Zen monk named Will Tuttle. I have not read this book, but in flipping through its pages, I was at times reminded of the  mindfulness teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh as in the following passage that embodies the interconnectedness of life:

What is so simple as eating an apple? And yet, what could be more sacred or profound? When we eat an apple we are not just eating an apple as a separate thing. The apple enters us, dissolves within us, contributes to us, and becomes us. And each apple is a manifestation of so much more! We are eating of the rain and the clouds and of all the trees that have gone before to bring this tree into manifestation, and of the tears, sweat, bodies, and breaths of countless generations of animals, plants, and people that have become the rain and soil and wind that feed the apple tree.

When we look into one apple, we see the entire universe.

From Amazon:

Food is our most intimate and telling connection both with the living natural order and with our living cultural heritage. By eating the plants and animals of our earth, we literally incorporate them. It is also through this act of eating that we partake of our culture’s values and paradigms at the most primal levels. It is becoming increasingly obvious, however, that the choices we make about our food are leading to environmental degradation, enormous human health problems, and unimaginable cruelty toward our fellow creatures.
Incorporating systems theory, teachings from mythology and religions, and the human sciences, The World Peace Diet presents the outlines of a more empowering understanding of our world, based on a comprehension of the far-reaching implications of our food choices and the worldview those choices reflect and mandate. The author offers a set of universal principles for all people of conscience, from any religious tradition, that they can follow to reconnect with what we are eating, what was required to get it on our plate, and what happens after it leaves our plates.
The World Peace Diet suggests how we as a species might move our consciousness forward so that we can be more free, more intelligent, more loving, and happier in the choices we make.

Here he is speaking to Google:

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The third book is the 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham–who holds doctorates in Chiropractic and Natural Health. If you do any kind of research on him, you will quickly find out that he is a character. I have no idea how old he is, but he is very fit and it seems that a lot of people who follow his method are very much committed to fitness/sport–including endurance activities such as running marathons. doug-graham-3The 80/10/10 diet is a low-fat, raw, vegan diet. At least Eighty percent of the diet consists of carbs in the form of raw fruit, no more than 10% of the diet is protein  in the form of vegetables and no more than 10% fat from nuts and seeds. People who follow this diet strictly are also known as fruitarians. The amount of fruit consumed in a day can seem mind boggling. Another component of this diet is “mono meals”. A mono meal is having a single fruit as a meal, for example, 12 bananas.  You can read a short interview with Dr. Graham here where he talks a little bit about his background and how he come up with the concept. The video below by Rawfully Kristina shows a typical meal for her on the 80/10/10 diet.

I want to point out that Carla does not eat 100% by the 80/10/10 principles. As mentioned, these are the books that have simply (or maybe not so simply) informed her food journey.  She is very candid about what and how she eats and even keeps her food diary online.

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There was one more book she mentioned:  Michael Pollan’s Food Rules.  Most people are familiar with this little gem of a book with simple, straight forward rules for eating wisely. Since the original was published, he has also come out with an illustrated and expanded version. For even more food rules submitted to Michael Pollan by the public, click here.

With all this talk of rules and fruit, percentages and peace….it can get more confusing before reaching clarity. I always say let your body be your guide. Eat what makes your body, mind and spirt hum. Eat what makes you feel vibrant, alive and nourished. Michael Pollan and I definitely agree on something and it is this:

eat-food-michael-pollan-quote-715And for Carla, this is for you:  FoodRules3_1200

“May we all eat well and flourish!”

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4 SUPERFOODS TO REV YOUR DIETARY ENGINE

I have to admit, my routine gets out of whack sometimes, and I find myself either not eating or grabbing a quick and easy meal (meaning not very nutritious). Life just happens and I don’t always have the time or energy to be a good foodie. To compensate for my less-than stellar diet I add superfoods to my meals whenever possible, especially in my morning smoothie. So how can you rev up that dietary engine of yours? Try incorporating some of these superfoods into your daily regimen.

COCONUT OIL

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it is a medium-chain fatty acid; which means it is more easily digested and utilized by the body than other saturated fats (i.e. butter, meat and eggs). Most saturated fats are stored in the body’s cells, but the fatty acids in coconut oil are sent directly to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy. It is considered a “heart healthy” fat. Coconut oil helps speed up the body’s metabolism so you burn more calories in a day which can contribute to weight loss. It also has powerful antimicrobial properties.

Add To Your Diet:

  • 1 cup to 1 cup ratio when replacing other oils/butter in recipes
  • In solid form use as a replacement for butter/Crisco/Pam when greasing pans, cookie sheets, etc.
  • In liquid form (melted) use as a replacement for various oils when baking, cooking, sauteing, etc.
  • Melt and add to smoothies for additional nutritional punch and yummy-ness

Bright and beautiful goji berries.

GOJI BERRIES

Goji berries are also known as wolfberries and are native to southeastern Europe and Asia. They have 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges! They are an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E, contain high levels of antioxidants, and most contain a full complement of protein with 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals. The Vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene found in Goji berries help protect eyesight and prevent macular degeneration. They also help lower bad cholesterol levels and protect the heart from disease. If that’s not enough, the antioxidants contained in the berries have been linked with slowing the aging process and reducing wrinkles! Goji berries are typically purchased dried and soaked in water prior to eating.

Add To Your Diet:

  • Sprinkle on salads or in soups
  • Blend into smoothies or juices
  • Eat as you would raisins

NOTE: If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure medicines.

SPIRULINA

Spirulina is a blue-green algae which was consumed for thousands of years by the Aztecs. It is a complete protein, which means it contains all eight essential amino acids and it is a great source of protein. Along with antioxidants and minerals it is rich in beta carotene, iron, B-12, Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Studies have shown that spirulina helps to: control blood sugar levels; maintain healthy cholesterol levels; increase energy; reduce blood pressure; and increase antioxidants in the blood. It also helps to reduce inflammation, fight allergies, support healthy digestion PH levels, and immune system function. Spirulina is available in tablet and powder form.

Add To Your Diet:

  • Sprinkle on salads, soups, ice cream or popcorn
  • Blend into smoothies or juices
  • Take as a nutritional supplement in tablet form

WHEAT GRASS

Wheat Grass is the sprouted grass of a wheat seed. Unlike the whole grain, because it has been sprouted, it no longer contains gluten or other common allergic agents. The above-ground blades of grass are used to make the juice. Because of its high alkaline mineral content, wheat grass helps to restore alkalinity to the blood, increase red blood-cell count and helps to lower blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body. Wheat grass is a powerful detoxifier and contains beneficial enzymes and amino acids. It can also help to neutralize toxic substances such as cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury, and polyvinyl chloride.

Add To Your Diet:

  • Available commercially in powder, liquid or tablet form to be taken as a supplement
  • Wheat Grass kits are available so you can grow your own and juice at anytime

Do you supplement your diet with superfoods? If so, let us know by commenting below. We’d love to hear from you.

*Statements on this web site are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

ALL HAIL KALE!

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Kale – beautiful and nutritious.

Let’s talk about kale shall we? A proud member of the cabbage family, kale is a righteous superfood just waiting to get inside your God pod and fill it full of wondrous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Kale packs a wicked nutritious punch. One cup raw kale has only 33 calories, no fat or cholesterol and provides 6% of your RDA for iron, 9% of calcium, 134% or Vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A and an incredible 684% of Vitamin K! According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming a diet rich in vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer. Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.

Kale is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin B6, potassium, copper and manganese. The fiber content of the lovely cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

So, with all these fabulous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you’d be crazy not to incorporate more kale into your diet! Here’s how to pick it, store it, prep it, and eat it:

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When selecting go for firm, dark and richly colored leaves.

SELECTION

Kale is a cool weather vegetable. It can be found throughout the year in most markets, but its season runs from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring. When shopping for kale look for firm, dark and richly colored leaves (bluish-green or darker) with no yellowing or holes in the leaves. The steams should be hardy and moist. Smaller leaves tend to be more tender and have a milder flavor. In order to avoid harmful pesticides used during the growing of kale, choose organic!

STORAGE

Never wash kale before storing, this causes the leaves to go limp. It will last for several days in the refrigerator, but try to use it within 1 or 2 days after purchase. The longer it sits, the more bitter the leaves. Remove any excess moisture and store in an air-tight plastic bag.

Kale freezes well and actually will taste sweeter and more flavorful afterward. To freeze for a long period, blanch the leaves in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until the leaves turn a bright green. Place in a colander and run under cold water. Remove any excess water by patting dry with a towel or set leaves out to dry in the open air. Place in freezer bags or other container. When needed, remove as many leaves as needed and thaw to room temperature.

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Wash kale only when ready to eat or cook, never before.

PREPARATION

To prepare your kale for eating wash the leaves in a sink full of water to remove any dirt. If the stems are very small and tender they can be cooked with the leaves. Stems that are thick, but still tender, can be cut off and cooked for a minute or two before leaves are added. Any thick, tough stalks should be discarded.

QUICK KALE TIPS

Quick cooking preserves kale’s nutrients, texture, color, and flavor. Chopped kale can be added to salads, soups, smoothies, stews, stir-frys, salads, casseroles or even as a topping for pizza. Substitute kale for spinach or collard greens in recipes.

  • Create a simple and delicious salad with a bunch of thinly sliced kale, red pepper, onion, raisins, and your favorite salad dressing.
  • Braise some chopped kale, add sliced apples, garnish with chopped walnuts, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • Toss whole-grain pasta with chopped kale, pine nuts, feta cheese, and a little olive oil.
  • Cover and cook a pound of chopped kale with a few garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes; season with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.

FIVE SIMPLE KALE RECIPES

Crispy Kale Chips

North African Chickpea And Kale Soup

Summer Tomato Crostata with Kale Pesto

Sweet and Savory Kale

Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad

Note: Kale contains oxalates, a naturally occurring substance that can interfere with the absorption of calcium. So, avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems.

*Statements on this web site are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

July Gathering and…..Exciting News!

First, the “Exciting News!”

I had such grandiose plans when I started this blog a year or so ago.  As my blogging friends out there know, researching and writing posts could easily be a full time job. So, this blog sort of fell by the wayside and became somewhat neglected. That is about to change! The news? Well, we now have a fantastic writer who will be contributing new posts on a regular basis. She is a creative writer, an inspired photographer and shares my passion for great, wholesome and nutritious foods. We are blessed that she has offered her talents and her time. With her contributions, this blog may begin to live up to the vision I had when it was first conceived. Great things are in store for this blog. So Welcome MMH! Welcome.

Now, on to the food….Our monthly gatherings continue to grow. We welcomed new faces this month as well as some who returned after a short hiatus. The food…well, that goes without saying. None of the additives, preservatives, colorings, etc., but ALL of the flavor. Without meat of course. There are some creative cooks out there and the caliber of food that shows up month after month continues to inspire. My favorite this month…a tough call, but I loved the Tu-no Salad. Enjoy the pictures, try the recipes and we hope to see you next month!

The Raw Curried Cabbage Salad recipe can be found here. The Tu-no Salad recipe can be found here, and the recipe for the Bliss Balls can be found by searching this blog–they were included in an earlier post.

Chickpea- A Vegan Quarterly

This is going to be short and sweet, because the best thing I can give you, is a link. Chickpea is a quarterly magazine filled with vegan goodness. Cara and Bob, the duo behind the blog Hipsterfood, wanted to create a beautiful and inspiring food magazine to showcase the vegan lifestyle and bring together the vegan community. I think they have succeeded, not only on that level, but in creating a magazine that anyone who cares about healthy and nourishing whole foods will enjoy. The magazine looks great and is brimming with recipes and articles. They have published 3 issues so far, with a fourth on the way. I looked through the Spring 2012 issue—they are all available free online or you can order a print copy.  At 95 pages (yep!) you will have plenty of recipes to try and articles to read until the next issue arrives. Check out their blog too…it’s pretty cool.

Food Movies

After we watched the wonderful Forks Over Knives last month, this list of food movies was shared with us. I am posting a partial list here and, if available the trailer. Some of these are not actual movies, but lectures and excerpts, if available, are posted.

Eating by Mike Anderson

Healing Cancer From the Inside Out

Should I Eat That? How to Chose the Healthiest Foods by Jeff Novick

Fast Food by Jeff Novick

Calorie Density: How to Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer by Jeff Novick

Lighten Up: Weighing In on the Weight Debate by Jeff Novick

Nuts and Health: What the Science Really Says by Jeff Novick

You may notice that there are quite a few movies/lectures from Jeff Novick. Well, who is he?? Turns out, he is a nutritionist and dietician of vast knowledge and experience. From his website: “He is Vice President of Health Promotion for Executive Health Exams International and lectures at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California and at the Engine 2 Immersion program in Austin, TX.  He is also the Director of Nutrition for the Meals for Health community project which is helping empower low-income families to achieve optimal health.” I have listened to excerpts of his lectures and he come across and very knowledgeable, but with a laid back and humorous delivery. He is well worth listening to.

This list of recommended food movies/lectures is far from complete. Movies about food seem to be as popular now as ever. What are your favorite movies or documentaries about food? Have you listened to any amazing TED talks about food that influenced your diet? Share your recommendations in the comments section.

April Gathering: Forks Over Knives

FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

From Farm to Table: Farmboxes

We are in the season of gardening and farmer’s markets.  Here in the lowcountry, between Savannah, Beaufort, Hilton Head and Bluftton, there are a lot of farmer’s markets. Despite my best intentions, I know I don’t always make it to the farmer’s markets and vegetables from my garden?, well, it remains to be seen what nature will bring! For people like me, there is another option:  Farm Boxes.  I love the idea of these.  The produce is going to be what is in season and theoretically you will be getting it at it’s freshest. But I also love the surprise of getting this box of fresh fruit and veggies and having to creatively include it in meals. The challenge of figuring out what to do with something you may have bypassed in the grocery store or getting varieties that aren’t usually available. This also seems like a good way to increase the variety in your diet. There are 2 farms that I have recently seen advertising farm boxes.  I don’t have any experience with any of them, but if you do or if you have used farm boxes in the past, I would love to know your thoughts.

Earth to Table Farmbox Delivery:

Brought to you by Jason and Stacy Berry of Berry Farms. This farm, located outside Vidalia, GA has been certified organic since 2007. It offers farm box pickup or delivery locations in Savannah, Tybee, Hilton Head, Bluffton, Wilmington Island and more. The farm box comes in 3 sizes:  Small, Medium and Large. Add on’s such as locally caught fish, wild Georgia shrimp and artisan cheese are available. Some of the produce available this week included:

  • rainbow swiss chard
  • rainbow carrots
  • broccoli
  • strawberries

Heritage Organic Farm:

This 20 acre farm in Guyton, GA claims to be the first farm in GA to be certified organic. There farm boxes are designed by a nutrionist. Options include:

  • Family Box:  three types of fruits and vegetables
  • Petite Box: same variety, smaller amount
  • 80/20 Box:  8 different veggies, 2 different fruits
  • Custom

Special orders include:  extra fruits and veggies, certified organic egg, meat, cheese and coffee. Recipes and nutritional information are either emailed or included in the boxes.

There are pick-up locations for these boxes in Savannah, Okatie, Bluffton, Richmond Hill or from the farm.

If you know of any others, or have experience from using farm boxes, please share them here.

Hungry For Change

Hungry For Change is a documentary, in their words, about “creating lasting weight loss, abundant energy and vibrant health”  from the food choices that we make. You can watch the movie online for free until March 31, 2012.